At least three people are dead after an earthquake struck off the coast of Chile triggering a tsunami warning for towns along the coast. Julie Noce reports.
At least three people are dead after a powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Chile triggering a tsunami warning. Residents of coastal towns are evacuating and moving to higher ground as high waves and flood water begins to come ashore in some place. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MICHELLE BACHELET, CHILEAN PRESIDENT, SAYING: "The main focus was protecting people and so all the coastal areas were evacuated given the magnitude of the earthquake and the possibility of a future tsunami to come..." The quake struck about 280 kilometres north of Santiago. The U.S. Geological Survey said three aftershocks hit the region- all greater than magnitudes 6.1- in the hour after the initial quake and that smaller quakes continue to shake the area. Mark Simons is a professor of geophysics in California. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARK SIMONS, PROFESSOR OF GEOPHYSICS AT THE SEISMOLOGICAL LABORATORY, CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY , SAYING: "8.3 is a large earthquake. It is a very large earthquake and it is a very serious earthquake to those in the near field in Chile who are experiencing it. And one shouldn't forget about that. And the potential for damage is significant....." In February 2010, an 8.8-magnitude earthquake in central-southern Chile triggered a massive tsunami, killing more than 500 people.